School system, county and state officials will join St. Charles High School students May 15 to officially dedicate Charles County’s seventh high school, which opened in August. During the same ceremony, the school system will also dedicate the pool in memory of former Board Member Donald M. Wade, who is credited with securing the pool for St. Charles. The 6:30 p.m. dedication is open to the public. Students and staff will provide tours of the school following the ceremony.
St. Charles opened for students on Aug. 25 for the 2014-15 school year. Some construction continues on the pool, which is expected to be ready by mid-May and open for use this summer and next school year. St. Charles is one of 36 schools in the Charles County Public Schools system. Built to house 1,600 students, St. Charles opened this year with grades 9, 10 and 11 and will add a senior class next school year.
The St. Charles pool is in the final stages of construction and includes six competition-length lanes, spectator seating for 200 and separate locker rooms to make the pool available after hours for community use. The pool was cut from the original St. Charles building plans; however, midway through the high school construction project Col. Wade successfully asked the Charles County Commissioners to restore funding for the pool. The Board of Education last year voted to name the pool the Donald M. Wade Aquatics Center in memory of Wade. He passed away June 1, 2014, shortly before the end of his fourth term. Wade family members and Board members will cut the ribbon for the new pool during the May 15 school dedication ceremony.
Built as a green school, St. Charles is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver standard as developed by the U.S. Green Building Council. The building design incorporates energy management features, including natural lighting, water efficient landscaping, and a geothermal heating and cooling system. The 288,000-square foot school contains 72 teaching stations and is built vertically, stacking academic instructional areas and classrooms on four floors.
St. Charles also houses the James E. Richmond Science Center, which is open to the public and used by students systemwide. A state-of-the-art digital classroom and Science on a Sphere are main features of the center.
In addition to the pool, St. Charles athletic features include a football stadium with an eight-lane track; bleacher seating for 1,500 home/500 visitors; 14 fields including football, baseball, softball, soccer, field hockey and lacrosse; and eight tennis courts.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,500 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.
The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Dr. Patricia Vaira, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Pamela K. Murphy, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.